I want to tell you a short story of how I ended up backstage with Robin Schulz at the Lollapalooza festival in Buenos Aires. This all happened within the last 1-2 days, and it’s very much one of those stories that boil down to one essential thing: disrupting my status-quo thinking and doing things differently.
6 months ago my year-long friend from Buenos Aires, Luli, talked me into buying a ticket for this popular festival called Lollapalooza in Buenos Aires (it’s a “festival franchise” that they take to different places in the Americas and soon to Berlin, too). I wasn’t expecting to be there, but I thought myself: “Who knows? Best case I have to be there for work and can go. Worst case I sell the ticket.” At this point you need to know that I get to go to Latin America quite a few times a year .. so while it was unlikely, there was still a marginal chance.
A month ago my travel plans at work solidified and it turned out that I would indeed be in Argentina around the weekend of the festival – FANTASTIC. I then checked out the line-up, but didn’t put much thought into it: Pharrell, NoFX, The Kooks, Chet Faker, Robin Schulz, Foster the People. I just thought myself it would be a great time either way. My first time attending a music festival in (my beloved) Latin America.
Fast forward to a Friday afternoon, I was sitting on my flight from San Francisco to Houston. Just happened that this guy sitting next to me looked like a very nice, same-age fella. I fly a lot, but it doesn’t happen very often that I feel compelled to strike a conversation. But that guy looked approachable and I just went ahead and said something nice about his jacket (note: I always say “hello” to people sitting next to me but I don’t always intend to strike up proper conversations). They guy responded nicely, but he clearly wasn’t into talking. Soon enough he put his headphones on and sat there quietly for the remaining 3 hours of the our flight. You know, fair enough .. not everyone has to be in that mood.. bummer, but I had the benefit of the doubt that I tried.
A few hours later I found myself on my second leg from Houston to Buenos Aires and the very same situation happened (this time with another guy though). He came, signaled he was sitting on the aisle seat next to me on the window seat and while he was putting his passport into his carry-on, I noticed that he was German. As he sat down, I was in the very same situation like before. For a few seconds I debated with myself whether I should start a conversation or not (I mean, my earlier attempt of talking was shut down, so why try again?), but then I just went ahead with it. He was wearing some wristbands from music events, so I asked him about it – in German.
Long story short, Robin Schulz and his tour manager were on the same flight, flying down from Houston to Buenos Aires to play at the Lollapalooza. If you don't know who Robin Schulz is, listen to Prayer in C or Waves – I'm sure you have heard his songs! We ended up talking for hours with no break about his rise as an artist, his tour around the world, the grammy nomination – but also serious topics ranging from immigration issues in Germany, the Arab-Israeli conflict to the current economic situation of Argentina. Time flew and I was just so delighted that my little push to strike a conversation turned out to be so “rewarding” in terms of "cool people to meet and talk to."
Upon arrival, as we were bidding farewell, Robin and his tour manager invited me to join them during Robin’s performance at the Lollapalooza festival. We exchanged numbers and bid farewell. Hour later, before Robin was playing, I whatsapped Gena the tour manager who then waved us backstage from where we watched Robin's live performance.
It was an amazing night and it was just great to briefly "be part" of someone’s incredible rise as an artist. As a frequent festival goer, I was further delighted to have a different experience during a show and as a smartphone photographer, well, HEAVEN :). I learned a ton about the music business in the last 24 hours and this was all the simple result of me “disrupting my status-quo thinking and doing things differently.” The status-quo would have been to just mind my own business, not talk and sit through my flight … but something told me it would be worthwhile do things differently. Well, little did I know!
With Gena (his tour manager), Robin Schulz, Stefan (his manager) and my friend Luli!